Aiming to assure the competitiveness of US businesses in the fast-growing clean energy and clean technology markets, the US Departments of Energy (DOE) and US Treasury on February 7 announced availability of $150 million in Section 48C Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits. Zooming in on boosting clean energy manufacturing, enhancing national energy security, and creating new jobs and business opportunities, the new incentives will also strengthen “America’s global competitiveness,” according to a DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) office press release.
“Since 2009, the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit program has supported innovative American manufacturers that boost our nation’s competitiveness in the global race for clean energy,” departing Energy Secretary Steven Chu was quoted as saying. “These new investments will continue that momentum, supporting the President’s commitment to American-made energy, increasing energy security, and creating jobs.”
Created as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), the IRS Section 48C Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit supports investment in domestic clean energy and energy efficiency manufacturing facilities by competitively awarding investment tax credits of 30%.
Some $2.3 billion of these tax credits were awarded for 183 projects nationwide during the program’s initial round. Available from February 7, this second round of $150 million in tax credits wasn’t taken up in the initial round.
The amount of domestic energy produced from renewable sources – solar, wind, geothermal energy, and others – has more than doubled in the past four years as the Obama Administration follows through on the President’s “all of the above” energy strategy.
Federal government incentives aimed at specific clean energy and energy efficiency market sectors, such as the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit, have contributed significantly to boosting American manufacturing, “with 500,000 manufacturing jobs added since the beginning of 2010,” the DOE and Treasury note in the press release. “These tax credits will help continue this growth, while enhancing the country’s energy security and boosting local economic development.”
“As the economy continues to heal, the President has been clear that we have to do everything we can to boost growth and job creation today and build a more sustainable foundation for tomorrow,” Acting Secretary of the Treasury Neal S. Wolin added. “Manufacturing the clean energy products of the future in America will create good, middle-class jobs right now and help lay the groundwork for the long-term resilience of our economy.”
The Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits cover a wide range of clean energy and energy efficiency projects. Included among them are renewable energy and energy efficiency equipment, such as solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, wind and geothermal turbines, electric grids and storage for renewable energy, fuel cells, microturbines, energy storage systems for electric or hybrid electric vehicles, and equipment for energy conservation, including lighting and smart grid technologies, according to the DOE’s Section 48C fact sheet.
Awarded on a competitive basis, the DOE will evaluate Section 48C project proposals based on commercial viability, domestic job creation, technological innovation, speed-to-project completion, and potential for reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Other factors, such as diversity of geography, technology, project size, and regional economic development will also be factored into the DOE’s evaluation.
The DOE’s complete solicitation for Section 48C clean energy manufacturing and energy efficiency project proposals – Notice 2013-12 – is available online.